Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 12 seconds

Speaking of hands, I suddenly remembered a particular birth defect (due to some drug women took while pregnant, i think) where children were born with deformed hands or limbs or something, so even the counting on the hand metaphor is not that inclusive. Oops. I suddenly remembered that growing up, I had a close friend who had one hand where the fingers were smaller than average size and looked different than her other “normal” hand (i guess people would call them deformed or not well developed, but I grew up with them so didn’t find them that strange). It was one of those things that isn’t really a disability (both hands were functional, though one more than the other; she became a medical doctor so it didn’t hinder her much) but it was the kind of thing that you get used to when it’s your best friend and you stop noticing it. You only notice it when someone meets her for the first time and they comment on it. It’s sort of what I am trying to get at, here. When you know someone closely, you don’t need to make an effort to “include” them. It happens naturally. As adults, though, if we’re not already in that kind of situation, it may take intentionality to make it become so. And we know we’ve gotten somewhere when we don’t have to intentionally include them every time… Not very easy…
A lot of people who don’t live here refer to me as “my friend from Egypt” (including one of the few friends I made when I lived in England). It’s ok, it’s a little exoticizing but it’s ok. I get it. But it becomes something more when I just become their friend and they where i am from is not the first way they describe me, you know? When I know they’re talking about me for myself and not for my “difference”.